January 15, 2011
Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, MN
«archive page

Guy Noir

Listen (RealAudio)
Listen (MP3)

TR (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.

GK: It was January and I had flown back to St. Paul, after a month back East. I found a very cheap fare on Public Radio Airlines. (SS P.A.: This is your pilot speaking. If you value this airline, we hope that you'll support it with a passenger contribution and make it possible for us to continue flying to Minneapolis/St. Paul ---- we need to raise $1500 in the next ten minutes, otherwise we'll be landing in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (STING) And then I got home to find that my car had been towed during the snow emergency after the December blizzard. I called the Department of Confiscation. (SS PHONE MESSAGE: Due to the heavy volume of calls, your call is No. 12 THOUSAND 4 HUNDRED and SIXTY-SEVEN. Calls will be answered in the order received. Your estimated waiting time is THREE days EIGHTEEN hours AND forty-four minutes. Please stay on the line.) (DARK BLUES CHORDS) The snow emergency---- one reason more and more St. Paulites are moving to Florida. Snow emergency rules are complicated beyond anything you've encountered before ----

GK: ...(TR PROPHETIC: That which is Unplowed Thou shalt remove thy vehicle from and thou shalt not park therein on days that are even-numbered ----except on the side of the street that is odd-numbered, for behold this is an abomination unto me and the car that is left on the  even-numbered side on the odd-numbered day, behold it shall be towed into a secret place and there it shall remain (FADE INTO BRIDGE) -----  and so you had city residents walking through the blizzard (SFX) trying to find their buried cars (SS: Find the car, Rex! Find it! DOG WOOFS OFF, BLIZZARD) and elderly people trying to get their vehicles out of snowdrifts (TR OLD COOT SHIVERING: Gotta get to the drugstore and get Sadie's Coumadin. TIRES SPINNING) ---- Snowplows plowing a mountain of snow over parked cars (SFX) and towtrucks moving in to tow them away to impound lots. (SFX) Government tyranny operating with an iron fist, Bob Dylan wrote a song about it.

TR (DYLAN, SINGS)
How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on the road
After it has snowed
And your car's been towed? (BRIDGE)

GK: I didn't care to wait three days on the phone to find out where my car was so I headed for the Department of Confiscation to throw myself on their mercy... I took a bus (BUS EXHALE). On the bus I met a guy I used to know, an ex-cop named Harold---- what are you doing here?

TR: Car got towed.

GK: Oh?

TR: Back in July.

GK: July!

TR: They declared a leaf emergency. Leaves blowing in the street. Towed my car and I got on this bus to go get it and discovered I didn't have enough money to pay the exit fee.

GK: Exit fee!

TR: You gotta pay money to get off the bus. You got some spare change?

GK: I got off the bus and headed into the caves deep under downtown St. Paul and (FOOTSTEPS, ECHO) through a gate that said Department of Motor Vehicles, Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here. It was dark and there were bats (BATS FLUTTERING) and the ceiling leaked (DRIPPING) and way in the back (FOOTSTEPS, DRIPPING)— stood a woman in black leather, with a long black cape.

SS (HARD): Hi. What's your name?

GK: It's Noir. Guy Noir. I came to get my car.

SS: You want your car, Mr. Noir? My. What a comedian you are. Har de har har. Where are you going? Is it far?

GK: I'm supposed to meet some friends at a bar.

SS: How bizarre. Mr. Noir, you can bid your car au revoir. You'll be riding the bus ---- the bus with the red star.

GK: I heard a radio and it was N.P.R.

SS: I'd like you to meet our parking czar.

TR (GORE): You can call me Al.(STING)

GK: Al Gore. In a black uniform.

TR (GORE): Makes me look thinner, don't you think?

GK: N.P.R. The bus with a Red Star. A parking czar. Suddenly I got the picture.  A disciplined cadre of liberals had infiltrated the Department of Motor Vehicles and was confiscating cars in the snowstorm in order to achieve their goal ----- to force Americans onto mass transit and thereby gain control of their lives. 

TR (GORE): We're just trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Mr. Noir. And you're emitting a whole bunch of noxious gases. You're blowing fumes like the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. And so we're going to send you to a camp for re-education. An Acorn camp.

GK: ACORN. Activists Conspiring to Overcome Responsible Normality. 

TR (GORE): I think that maybe you know a little bit too much, sir. Comrades, assemble!

GK: I looked around and I was surrounded. Pete Seeger was there and Harry Bellafonte and Barbra Streisand----

SS (STREISAND): People----- good progressive people----

TR (GORE): We're bus people. Cars give individuals a sense of empowerment and sometimes that's good but not now. Not today.

SS: By 2012 we're going to get all Americans on mass transit so they won't be able to listen to conservatives on their car radios.

GK: And you've been plowing the streets and burying cars in snowdrifts and then towing them as a step toward the mass collectivization of America.

TR (GORE): Do you have a problem with that?

GK: You'll never get away with it.

TR (GORE): Just because I won the Nobel Peace Prize doesn't mean I don't know how to use my fists. Bring it on, big boy.

(PUNCH, SWING, OOF, CRASH OF CHAIR, SLAP, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT) (BRIDGE)

GK: I made a break for it (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, SHOUTS OF PURSUERS) and I ran into the depths of the cave as alarms went off (KLAXONS) and searchlights waved around and I headed for a dark corner where I could see a stairwell...(FOOTSTEPS HURRY)

SS (ON BULLHORN): Give it up, Noir. You're surrounded. All exits are blocked. Resistance is futile. Hands over your head----- (FOOTSTEPS HURRY)

GK: I hustled up the stairs and found myself in the abandoned Orpheum theater, once a picture palace in downtown St. Paul, now an empty shell. But not completely empty. (DOG GROWL. THEN ANOTHER)

Two glowing yellow eyes in the dimness. A big Doberman. (LOW DOG GROWL, DEEP IN THE THROAT) And then I saw the reflection of glass. Two glasses. A pair of dark plastic frames with a small strange head behind it.

TR (IRA): Ira Glass. This American Life. Don't move, Mr. Noir. This pistol with the poison dart is aimed straight at your chest. We're going to put you on a bus and send you to Canada. With a one-way ticket. (HE CHUCKLES)

GK: Ira Glass. And suddenly I realized that it wasn't the reflection of eyeglasses. It was his entire head. His entire head was transparent. I could see the folds of his brain tissue inside. His skull was a piece of fine crystal. And I took a big chance and I sang a note. (GK SINGS NOTE, HOLDS IT FOR THREE SECONDS. SHATTER OF GLASS) (BRIDGE) I got outside and downtown St. Paul was still snowed in and a big snowplow went by (TRUCK PASSING) pushing snow onto the parked cars and a towtruck came and started to haul one away (TRUCK BACKING, BEEPS) ----- both drivers were wearing John Kerry buttons, both had ponytails, NPR bumper stickers, the whole thing. A city under siege from the left. Suddenly it all made sense. OBAMA. Organization to Bring Aliens Moving to America…

GK: ...I rewound the tape of the President's speech in Tucson (REWIND) and turned it over and played it backwards. (TR OBAMA: Allah is good. Allah has made me president. Allah is powerful. I am powerful too.) A wakeup call if there ever was one. Will we wait until there are mosques on every corner and we're all forced to prostrate ourselves at the call to prayer? (TR CRY OF MUEZZIN ON P.A.) Everyone stop and kneel with our heads facing Washington? Is this what we want?

TR (RUSH): They'll never believe you, my friend. Just like they never believed me.

GK: We'll see about that, Mr. Limbaugh.

TR (JOHN WAYNE): I've got your back, Mr. Noir. Me and all the fellows of C Company. We're outnumbered by the liberal media but we're gonna beat em.

SS (SARAH): I'm here, too. Mama Grizzly, reporting for duty.

TR (CHENEY): Me too. Cheney. Ready to go.

SS (MINNESOTA): Don't forget me. Michelle Bachmann, T.P.

GK: I never thought I'd be on the same team with you guys.

TR (JOHN WAYNE): Let's move em on out. Mount up and ride, boys. And girls. (GIDDYUPS)

(THEME)

TR (ANNC): A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme Building, one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.

(THEME OUT)